Ahmedabad, Sunday: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today took strong exception to the Congress-led UPA Government at the Centre hell bent on systematically strangulating Gujarat’s vibrant co-operative sector.
Addressing a farmers rally to dedicate the newly constructed Banaskantha Central Co-operative Bank building at Deesa, he said that Gujarat’s co-operative banks are committed to empower the state’s farmers, but the Union Finance Minister framing income-tax rules for the banking sector is out to finish them. Since Gujarat leads in the nation in the co-operative sector, the Centre’s maneuverings hit Gujarat the hardest. He said that Gujarat sets the benchmark in various fields but the Centre is habituated to criticizing Gujarat for no reason, on some pretext or the other.
Moreover, he said, the Centre owes Gujarat Rs.250-crore as two per cent rebate on four per cent interest on crop loans advanced by the co-operative banks. He said that it is Gujarat Government which had extended special assistance of Rs.85-crore to ensure co-operative banks in all the districts of the state did get the Reserve Bank of India licences.
Mr. Modi invited political scientists, economists and other pundits to study the co-operative sector’s contribution to the Gujarat’s development model. There are 15 sugar mills in the co-operative sector in the state, but none of them allow the private parties, known to exploit sugarcane growers, to enter. He said that this sector needs all the more support to thrive, particularly in the wake of black sheep like Madhupura Urban Co-operative Bank betraying depositors’ confidence.
Mr. Modi said that if the farmers ask the Centre in unison to allow sluice gates at the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) dam on the Narmada, the job could be done faster. He also appealed to the farmers to contribute generously to constructing the majestic Statue of Unity.
Gujarat’s Finance Minister and District Guardian Minister Nitin Patel said that the new building of the Banaskantha Central Co-operative Bank in itself is the symbol of the progress of the co-operative banking. He said that Gujarat is an example of peace and development and Mr. Narendra Modi is the icon of development. Just as Gujarat ensured no person or no place remained untouched by development, it would be Mr. Modi’s endeavor to ensure the same for entire India. He had a word of praise for Bank’s Chairman Shankarbhai Choudhry and other members for economic empowerment of the farmers of the district.
Minister of State Parbatbhai Patel, MP Haribhai Chaudhry and MLA and BJP district unit president Keshaji Chauhan, speaking on the occasion, said that people are keen to see the Vikas Purush Mr. Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister of India unfurling the Tricolour atop the Red Fort.